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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 17, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EST

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today. we are off to a perch above silicon valley, where you'll find us tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 eastern. as your 30 million jobs tour kicks off from the golden state. i am dylan ratigan. "hardball" is up right now. mitt romney's tax rates. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. leading off tonight, the 15% solution. how many ways has mitt romney messed up talking about his income in the last several hours? let me count the ways. last night, he was unclear about whether he would release his tax records. now we know why. mitt romney acknowledges he pays roughly 15% in taxes. a far lower rate than people making much less.
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tha then he said "i get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much." that amounted to $374,000 a year. no one is denying mitt's right to make money, but no one is going to stop the democrats from making an issue out of it either. plus once again, the audience was the big story at last night's debate. big cheers when rick perry said south carolina at war with the federal government. boos when the moderator asked newt about possibly making racially insensitive remarks. huge cheers for newt when he stuck it with his answers. does all this matter? did the debate audience tell us about where the gop is these days? also opponents of scott walker have turned in one million signatures demanding his recall.
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this is about more than walker can survive an election. this is about mobilizing the base in a must-win state for president obama. and new tapes in which the captain of the grounded cruise liner off the coast of italy refused to get back aboard and help save passengers. it's a limit off course for us in terms of topic, but what a story this is. you'll want to hear it on "hardball." let me finish with newt gingrich calling president obama the food stamp president. we'll get to that one. we start with mitt romney's income tax. da dana -- dana mil banks. >> i'll bet you $10,000 that mitt romney has no idea how ridiculous he sounds. he's doing it over and over again. and $374,000 isn't a lot of money to mitt romney. the problem he wants to be
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president of a country of people who doesn't make near that. >> every time we do what you're doing, learn how to talk american people. he gets more and more withdrawn. >> this goes back to his al gore problem. he's so afraid of what might come out of his mouth, he's thinking it through, which makes him make more mistakes. which is why you got that absurd clip. >> but we know what he means. he has $215 million in net worth. he has 1% a year on his income. so compared to that, the $300,000 in speakers fees is a small part of his income. if he makes 10%, he's making $25 million a year. and he only pays capital gains
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on it. this guy only pays 15% because he's basically a coupon clipper. >> he's doing this in january. >> everybody -- every journalist. would you stop doing this. it's only now. don't people have memories? >> people do have memories, but you litigated. now he figures out an appropriate response. it is less poe don't. >> this is like the baseball team that says we only have to win the games in the fall. >> better off if he had better instincts on this. i'm just saying better for him to do this in january and try to figure out what he's going to say. >> do you buy this argument? everybody is doing this. glad he's dealing with it now. >> it's better to get out of the way, but it's becoming part of the shorthand. mitt romney, you think the $10,000 bet. the $250 million fortune. it becomes part of this.
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therefore, because it's in everybody's mind. it's easier for everybody. it's a character. >> all the occupy movement, even though it's had a hard time, it's about the fact that the very rich in this country have a very good deal. in addition to being rich, they have a good deal in terms of taxes. warren buffett has made that point. here's a guy in his own words this morning pays 15%. now everybody out there watching right now pays more. everybody. everybody watching right now pays more than 15%. they earn their income through salary or wages. that means 30%. this guy never has to pay beyond 15%. he hasn't been working for ten years as he pointed out. here he is this morning. he was pressed by reporters on what his returns would show.
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he's getting it over with. let's watch him admit his 15% solution. >> what's the effective rate i've been paying? probably closer to the 15%. the last ten years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather than ordinary income. i get a little income pr my book, but i gave that all away. and then i get speakers fees from time to time. but not very much. >> he can't run as a poor guy. he can't run as a working joe. he's a rich guy. he needs to figure out how to explain that to people that makes them feel like he has some understanding about the lives of other americans. >> do you think people that think about people making a lot of money, some of them sort of like trump. they like characters. they like serious entrepreneurs
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like steve jobs. why do you think romney would be vulnerable to dislike? >> americans don't resent it when people work hard and are successful. that's part of the american dream. rich people ran for office. most of the people who run for office are rich people. it's the exception people who -- >> i was watching the golden globes, which i love because they are sitting around drinking. we like them all. they look like ordinary people. >> i suspect the rich are watching your show tonight as well. there may be some people at that 15%. romney is blessed that his opponent, president obama, is also a wealthy man. but the difference where this is going to stick with voters is the corporations are people formulation. not only that he's wealthy, but he's looking out for wealthy people like him. it's easy to puncture. >> you know who watches this show, people who work hard and get home in the evening and want
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something that's big picture and they can think about. and also some retirees who have worked hard over their lives. your disdain for them -- i'm just kidding. >> newt gingrich joked about romney's 15% tax rate with reporters. let's watch newt going in for the kill. >> we'll find out if it's really 15%. and second, i think that we ought to rename or flat tax. we have a 15% flat tax. this will be the mitt romney flat tax that all americans can pay the rate romney paid. i think that's terrific. >> the saving grace of newt gingrich is he has a brain on his shoulders. there he is pointing out something great. why don't we have everybody pay the same rates as this guy? >> and call it the romney rate. i'm sure romney is frustrated by that attack, but he has to be
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thanking his lucky stars for newt gingrich. if you look at newt and santorum, add them together, and they are ahead of him. they are making sure romney is going to become the normminee. >> here's rick santorum blasting away at romney for the attack ads that a pro-romney super pac has been airing about santorum. they say it distorted. let's watch. >> i would ask governor romney, do you believe people who are felons and served their time and exhausted their parol and probation, should they be given the right to to vote? >> governor romney? >> first of all, as you know, the pacs that run ads on various candidates -- >> i'm looking for an answer to the question first. [ applause ] >> we have plenty of time.
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we'll get there. >> this is martin luther king day. >> i don't think people who committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again. >> and the state of massachusetts when you were governor, the law was that not only could violent felons vote after they exhausted their sentences, but they could vote while they were on probation and parol. >> this whole thing, obviously romney has a belief he's allowed to comoderate when he wants to. >> explain to me -- rick santorum got under romney's skin there. but why is he criticizing him on voting rights for felons and not on massachusetts health care plan or flip-flops on social issues or things that might actually matter? >> because romney is going after him on that. >> i understand that. but is this going to persuade any republican to switch from romney to him? it's hard to imagine. >> people tell me the critics of that performance last night say
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when rick santorum was doing that, he was trying to hook him into saying he didn't believe, but in massachusetts you gave them voting rights. >> romney is improving. e yes, it's bad whenever your answer starts about pacs, but at least he didn't ask the moderator for help this time. >> the problem with this whole thing, we're going to it get to the second part of this show. we're going e to something really awful about food stamps. but this debate process, are we getting near the end here? we have had 20 of these things. are we getting near the end? >> we're getting near the end of the debates people will actually watch. but there's still plenty to go. >> there's a strange development going on. a polling shows a shift towards romney without a reason. it's not like he's made interesting points.
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a new poll today from "the washington post" takes a look. mitt romney has surged to a strong lead among republican voters. he's gained 5% from last month. i always kid. i don't kid, i notice the weird culture of the republican party. once people see who is the front runner, they get in line. they don't fall in love, they fall in line. >> they nominate the next person in line. >> what is it about their culture? what makes them fine out who the person they are supposed to vote for and vote for them? >> i think there are many traits that determine whether you're going to feel like you're a democrat or republican. and the fact is, invariably, whoever leads after new hampshire in the republican primary gets the nomination.
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not true for democrats. >> i like this. who won the iowa caucuses? it's possible that it there was a miscount. and romney may not be on the road to winning the first three. he may lose this because the word will get out by friday and saturday that santorum may have won. we'll know by friday. >> a lot of good it did al gore to win the tally in 2000. just what you guys were just saying a moment ago. republicans like order. they like following instructions. >> but this is the conundrum. suppose he didn't win iowa and the republicans who get in line and do what they are told to do are voting for the wrong guy. >> so is dr. strange love. >> democrats do what they feel like doing. >> and they like to date around. they like to flirt with this person and that person. >> they like to rumble and have
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have fun. thank you dana mil bank and susan page. coming up, the rowdy crowd was the big story last night. we'll talk about the more aspects of the debate. what were they saying about the republican party? you learn a lot from this crowd. they like to cheer. fry the people on death row quickly. interesting km ining commentary crowd. you're watching "hardball." [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t.
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so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey! here's something interesting. nancy pelosi is tweaking republican front runner mitt romney. listen to what the former speaker said about why conservatives are resisting romney. >> if the far right thought that romney could win, they might be more enthusiastic about him. but they don't share -- they question what he stands for.
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and they don't think he's going to win. so what's the sell? i'm not sure he knows what he stands for. and that makes it harder too. >> she's raising the eligibility factor. democrats have 75 house districts and need to plan at least 50 of them if they hope to win back the 25 seets they need for her to become speaker again. . it's a necessity. i find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists. quickly. easily. i use pre-defined screeners and insightful trading ideas to dig deeper. work smarter. not harder. i depend on myself the one person i do trust to take charge of my financial future. [ bell dinging ] lord of the carry-on. sovereign of the security line.
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welcome back to "hardball." besides the attacks on mitt romney and the sparring between rick santorum and newt gingrich, the one thing that sticks out about the debate from last night is the crowd itself. look at the response from the crowd when newt gingrich gets when the moderator asks if one of his earlier statements was insulting. >> speaker gingrich, you recently said black americans
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should demand jobs, not food stamps. can't you see that this is viewed as a minimum as insulting to all americans, but particularly, to black americans? >> no. i don't see that. >> the crowd largely white, if not entirely white, agrees with him. roger simon joins us. there were a couple points that bug me about that it crowd. they seem to get a chuckle out of the fact when newt gingrich referred to him by juan. that seemed to get a chuckle out of them. in fact, a big applause. what was going on in that room last night with the issue of food stamps? what was really going on in the conversation? >> well, with speaker gingrich, what he was trying to do was play to the crowd.
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he's trying to appear to the social moderates and say i'm your candidate. support me. i think he was playing to the audience. as far as the welfare comment, unfortunately it's true. but the way the speaker said it was clumsy. we have a high african-american unemployment rate. the overall black male unemployment rate is 19.9%. we have a lot more folks who are of color who are unemployed than before this administration started. but his approach is clumsy. you shouldn't just say black folks need a job rather than a welfare check. >> he didn't say welfare check. he said food stamps. >> but my point is, why don't we say we create a climate that all americans have a better pathway to get a job if they were unemployed. >> roger, let's take a look. i want you to get a richer look. here's another exchange over
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race, i believe, which led to one of the biggest applauses of the night. >> my e-mail account has been inundated of people of all races who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. . we saw some of this reaction to a visit to a black church. it sounds as if you're seeking to belittle people. >> first of all, juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by barack obama than any president in american history. >> roger? >> this is not newt gingrich being clumsy. this is is newt gingrich being arrogant, condescending, and dismissive. the only thing you can say in his favor is that he's like that
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to a lot of people. white and black. but in that audience, with that kind of blood lust in the air, an audience that was way over the line and way over the top, gingrich was playing a dangerous game by playing to the audience and baiting people and appealing to their worst instincts. >> what do you mean by that? there's no question you have a conservative audience, but you say it's dangerous. juan williams is a mentor of mine. he can take care of himself. he asked a question. you have seen speaker gingrich be arrogant to other moderators. just because juan happened to be black, i don't think the speaker was trying to bait him or bait the audience based on the color of juan williams' skin. i entirely dismissed that. >> i didn't say it was based
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entirely on the color of juan's skin. it is dangerous. the fact is there's no reason on earth for newt gingrich, who had been addressed by juan williams as speaker gingrich, to refer to mr. williams as juan in that long, drawn-out way of his. and then pausing for the applause. you also saw him pause for the laughter to build earlier. newt gingrich is very, very good at dealing with an audience, at being silent so the audience reaction can build. the other candidates just answer the question. >> i'll be blunter. let me ask a question. you and i are friends. i want to ask you. i think there's a history here we can't ignore. ronald reagan, who had good
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things about him. he could go around and campaign talking about the young buck in line using food stamps to buy gin or vodka in the safeway line. he'd use that term, young buck. that would bother people. he would talk about welfare queens. is there a history of this kind of dog whistle? i'm just asking. >> of course, on both sides of the aisle. >> in this particular use of language about poor people? >> i think in decades past x you have seen that. the republican party has made an effort to be inclusive of all people. let us not forget who was it who tried to block the civil rights act of '64? the both parties have had a history of race. both parties need to address the issues that confront us and get beyond playing to people's
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racial insensitivity regardless of the color of the skin. >> let's go on to rick perry. i agree with you. here's rick perry receiving applause from the same crowd when he said two southern states, his and theirs, were in conflict even at war with the federal government over voting rights. >> i'm saying that the state of texas is under assault by federal government. i'm saying also that south carolina is at war with this federal government and with this administration. >> you know, there's a birth of a nation aspect to that. i can't even start with that. this sounds like going with the wind. what are we talking about here? >> you said he's not playing to the audience. this is south carolina. a state where people proudly tell you they were the first
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state to secede from the union. he began his campaign by saying texas had a right to secede. this is the state of john calhoun. >> i think ron is waiting for him to say nullification before you blow the whistle? >> i actually am the one to say enough. there are states, texas is one, that are at conflict with the government. it's a legitimate right for a state to impose their qualifications to vote. but for rick perry to suggest that they are at war with the federal government, we're not at war with the federal government. we're a good nation. we do things civilly. i think that was red meat to the crowd. i understand that. but he needs to really ratchet the rhetoric down. >> okay. thank you. i think we agree on that one. red meat for the crowd.
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feeding time at the lion cage. thank you both. up next, barack obama pokes fun at himself with a birthday greeting to golden girl. i remember her from back then. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb.
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when i grow up, i'm going to start a band. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. thanks, mom. i just want to get my car back. [ female announcer ] discover what's next in your life. get this free travel bag when you join at get this free travel bag when you join when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress
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with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. back to "hardball." now to the side show. first up, to the birthday bash. today marks the big 9-0 for the enduring betty white. celebrities cake out to honor her last night. one guest who couldn't make it was president obama, but he recorded a video for her. >> dear betty, you look so fantastic i can't believe you're
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90 years old. in fact, i don't believe it. that's why i'm writing to ask if you'll be willing to produce a copy of your birth certificate. thanks, and happy birthday no matter how old you are. >> another birthday is today. michelle obama, the first lady. the president didn't ask her for her birth certificate. next up, major letdown. just last week, the south carolina newspaper went out on a limb and chose to endorse jon huntsman. when news came yesterday that he was no more. one editor was particularly crushed. "it was like rather gone through a courtship and finally making love with a man to suddenly turn around and say i think i'm gay." i guess that's one way of putting it. and grilled. mitt romney made the confession that his hunting skills were limited to small varmts. the topic resurfaced last night
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at the debate. >> you were teased a few years ago for saying you hunted varmentes. i wonder if you have gone hunting? >> i'm not going to describe my exploits, but i went moose hunting -- not moose hunting. elk hunting. i'm not the great hunter that some on this stage probably -- rick perry, you're a serious hunter. but i must admit i enjoy the sport. when i get invited. i'm delighted to be able to go. >> republicans really do cling to their guns. up next, opponents of scott walker are turning in hundreds of thousands of signatures. maybe a million demanding his recall. in the process, they are mobilizing the democratic base for november in a crucial presidential state. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc.
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i'm brian sullivan with your market wrap. the stock rally continues. the dow up 60. the s&p up 5. the nasdaq up 17 points. shares of kacarnival cruise lin fell 14%. this after analysts slashed the ratings of the company. carnival owns the costa concordia. banking giant citi group reported shorter earnings. shares ended the day down about 8%. in the meantime, kraft foods shares rose. net profits would be slightly
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higher. sadly, that's not going to help the jobs picture. kraft said they will cut 1,600 jobs as it realigns. maybe good news for homeowners. natural gas closed at a low. this past december was the sixth warmest on record. many heat their home with natural gas. that's it from cnbc. now back to "hardball." this is why my election, which appears to be a recall election, is going to be such a big deal. this is one of the defining moments in wisconsin's history and the national political landscape. this will be a defining moment. >> you talk about "hardball." welcome back to it. scott walker knows the stakes are high.
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he's looking defensive. the democrats in the state filed petitions with more than a million signatures to trigger the recall election. democrats needed just 540,000 signatures for a recall. got double that. got half the elect rat to come out with the signatures. the angry response from union supporters made wisconsin ground zero in the fight for survival. with a recall looming, money and media began to focus on that state. one that has a must-win for the president. ed shultz is joining us. i want to start with ed. this is such an astounding performance by any organized labor group. they have been able to collect, as you know, you are the expert, they have basically got as many signatures as half the
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electorate. if they get those people to vote, they win this thing. >> it's utterly amazing, chris. you're talking about 25% of the electorate as opposed to 7% in california. it's a monumental effort. i was in the backyard of a middle class family today where they were hiding the truck, the u-haul that had two million signatur signatures. armed guards who we were asked not to film because they wanted to make sure the signatures were going to get to the government accountability office. you open up the back and there's the ransom. it was like a james bond movie. you were looking over your shoulder wondering what was going on. but these folks, it's record breaking in this country. there were enough signatures delivered today to recall the governor, the lieutenant governor, and four sitting republican senators, including
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the senate majority leader. so to say that this state is energized is an understatement. i want to say it wasn't all labor. this was put together by the democratic party in a grass roots organization. they did the leg work. one wisconsin now. a progressive group. the labor folks have kept their powder dry to this point. they are going to engage in the recall effort from this point on. >> let me go to mike tate. do the irish get to be chair of the democratic stories? just kidding. let me ask you think th. why didn't you do so well in 2010? what's the difference between then and now in your state? >> first, thanks for having me on. i'm a huge fan of "hardball." 2010 was a bad year for us. the national momentum was not going our way. we had a ron johnson come on and spend a ton of money. and we had mayor tom baric go
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down to scott can walker. but today collecting over a million signatures, getting almost as many signatures as scott walker did votes, it sends a signal. scott tried to jam down this radical policy. that's why people are so upset here. that's why i believe we'll have a successful recall. >> here's why the recall election. will have repercussions. in 2008 president obama made a clean sweep of the states. look at the ones with the white flag there. in wisconsin he beat john mccain by 14 points. here's six of the eight states had democratic governors. that changed kra dramatically when power flipped in these midwest states. so back to you, ed. i know you're mainly a labor
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guy. you're interested in labor rights. what's this mean in terms of economics in this country? >> i think it means a lot, chris. this story goes far beyond the borders of wisconsin. and scott walker has got it right. this has national ramifications. this is a template to work against citizens united. there's millions of dollars coming into the state trying to save him and the other senators who put forth a radical agenda that goes after middle class wages, retirement, the whole thing. so this really is a template on how to fight back. in 2010, an answer to your question, it was simple apathy. people were lazy and didn't get engaged. this is going to motivate people. this is going to focus people on how important 2012 is. and the big beneficiary of this should be president obama and the obama campaign. and it should be a wakeup call, as we saw in ohio and indiana. right to work is a huge issue.
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there's being labor issues going on in michigan. so these radical governors that came in, this is really, i think, an overreach and a response to an overreach. it's a ground swell response. i think it does play big in these states in 2012. >> let me go back to mike tate. i remember working in the senate years ago. a long time ago when people like george meade would come in. republican senators would rush over to light his cigar. that sounds like a thousand years ago. big labor was truly big labor. bigger than the fed chairman. politically. do you see that coming? i don't mean overnight, but could it become a big part of the progressive coalition in this country? >> i hope so.
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i think labor has been critical in delivering wisconsin in any number of races. big labor is about 25% of the electorate here. we have been a strong labor state. but i think we have we absolutely need an expansion of labor. i think it's people's ticket into the middle class. that's what people are hungering for is how to live their life with a little bit more so they can get by. >> last word, ed. the big thing is, 80% of labor membership is concentrated in 16 states in this country. a lot of this pushback in wisconsin is because a lot of middle classers feel like that the governor is trying to balance the budget on the backs of middle classers. it's one of the first things he did was to give tax cuts to the rich and the corporations, which has not resulted if big job growth. this is a pushback from the
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middle class as much as it is the labor sector. >> thank you both. nice to meet you. next the incredible story of the cruise ship. off the coast of italy, we have a new tape of the cruise liner. what a sight. what a sight. the captain abandoned ship and was ordered back to get back on the ship and wouldn't do it. what a story. harry smith has that story. this is "hardball" on msnbc. ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for unsurpassed fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion. could've had a v8. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers.
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speech in denver. he hopes to mobilize voters. the same way his 2008 speech energized colorado voters. we'll be right back. that's why i recommend crest pro-health clinical gum protection. it helps eliminate plaque at the gum line, helping prevent gingivitis. it's even clinically proven to help reverse it in just 4 weeks. crest pro-health clinical gum protection. [ merv ] mr. clean magic eraser extra power was three times faster on permanent marker. it looks like mr. clean has won everything. the cleaning games are finished? and so are we. [ male announcer ] clean more, work less, with the mr. clean magic eraser extra power.
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this is mary... who has a million things to pick up each month on top of her prescriptions. so she was thrilled that her walgreens pharmacist recommended a 3-month supply and would always be there to answer questions about her health. now mary gets 3 refills in one and for 3 months, she's done. more or less. ask your pharmacist about a 90 day supply today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well. we're back. incredible images of the cruise ship the costa concordia. it ran aground near italy. five bodies were found on board bringing the the death toll to 11. an american couple from minnesota still remains missing.
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after the impact, the captain turned it around and beached the vessel. transcripts of the conversation vessel. transcripts between the italian coast card and that captain, francesca schettino tell the story, a captain who left the ship, giving excuse after excuse why he won't go back on board while passengers struggle to survive that captain was placed on house arrest today, charged with causing the wreck, abandoning ship and manslaughter. harry smith is an nbc news correspondent, back from covering this story for italy for "rock center" and nbc news. harry, we are going to play that crazy conversation, horrible conversation. what's your report on this what looks to be just a human catastrophe, man made horror? >> this guy has got to be the anti-sully. you think about people in charge and people doing the right thing. this guy couldn't have screwed up any more than he screwed up. we were on the water right next
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to that ship yesterday -- yesterday morning. and the enormity of the ship, all the technology in the world this never should have happened. this guy went miles off course to come close by that giglio island and the rocks he hit and the graphic you showed before, you can actually see the rocks from google maps. >> yeah. >> the rocks have a name, called the secaldella scola this guy, if in fact everything that looks like happened happened this guy is one of the biggest screw ups of all time. >> an italian coast guard officer repeatedly told the captain, schettino to get back on that ship as it was sinking once he realized he had left the costa "concordia", the captain gives several excuses why he can't get back aboard the ship. >> here is a portion of that transcript. let's listen to it in italian. okay. the coast guard. go. there are already bodies, schettino. schettino, how many bodies are there? coast guard, i don't know.
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i've heard of one. you are the one who is supposed to tell us how many there are, the coast guard speaking. here is the captain, but do you realize it is dark here and we can't see anything? coast guard, around so what? you want to go home, schettino? it's dark? and you want to go home, get on that prow of the boat, using the pilot ladder around tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. now! eventually, schettino says he will return on board but the coast guard denies he ever went back. harry? >> no, there were people -- there were people who saw this guy in a lifeboat. there were still, you know, maybe several hundred people still on board the ship and there were people out in the water that said, oh, my god, that's the captain of the ship. he is in a lifeboat. there are even reports that he was on -- on his cell phone with his mother while there were still people on the ship. he is on shore on his cell phone telling his mother he is okay. >> let me ask you about the tragic part of this just gone through the tragic comment part.
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what happened to the people that got killed? they were in their life jackets? how did they -- they get -- were they forced down below the ship as it was listing or what happened? >> a couple of scenarios here. one is you see how this thing is listed, it is all the way on its side. if you are in a state room, think about this for a second, all of a sudden, the door to the hallway is the ceiling, right? if you are of a certain age, if you are of a certain weight, there's -- you're not gonna get out of that room if you're trying to get to the ceiling to get out into the hallway to somehow work your way out of that ship. it's just an impossibility. one of the other things they said is with the electrical power going on and off, on and off, it might have tripped the locks so that, just like in a hotel room, sometimes if the power goes out, that lock goes down. there's -- you can't swipe a card, there's nothing you can do to unlock the door. >> horrible. >> that may be one of the other -- that's not -- that's just a theory. so think about all of a sudden
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the door, your escape door is sudden the ceiling and the other one is even if you could get to it maybe it's locked and you can't get out. >> oh, god and they are in their life jackets, they know exactly what's going on. harry, thank you for that i said tragic comedy, just going to end up tragic. when we return, let me finish with newt gingrich, this is a social issue we have in this country, it's called race. you are watching "hardball," only on msnbc. er feeling like a shadow of your former self? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey! premier of the packed bag. you know organization is key...
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for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. for you today ? we gave people right off the street a script and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy. i will transfer you now. my supervisor is currently not available. would you like to hold ? that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
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let me finish tonight with this. newt gingrich has called barack obama a food stamp president. food stamp president. got it? i thought we were past all this, didn't you? you know, the talk about welfare queens and phrases like what? well, you either get the message our don't. if you don't there's no point arguing with you about it. most people do get the point, meaning most people, white and black, get the point. speaker gingrich and juan williams in the debate he knew what he was doing. williams asked if he could see that if black americans should want jobs not food stamps was insulting. gingrich laid into him saying that president obama had put more americans on food stamps than any other president. he got a lot of applause for that why would saying that get you a big, hearty applause? because this whole conversation isn't about poverty but about race it is about a candidate who knows just how to make his point to appeal to a certain skinned of voter, i'm talking about gingrich here v no point arguing this you either hear the code being used or you don't. someone talking about food stamps, bringing up food stamps,
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calling a president a food stamp president when no one else on the plan set talking about food stamps knows precisely what he is talking g is about a cartoon, a cartoon the people getting public assistance areally as zucker don't want to work and are black. you talk about how low this campaign has gotten? looky here. next time you are in washington, d.c. or any other big urban area, i have got an educational trip for you to take. get up early, earlier than you usually get up, 6:00 or 630 in the morning and drive through the poor parts of town and watch who is up waiting at the bus stops, heading to work, poor people, a lot of them a lot of them black. and they are the hardest working people in the country. gingrich is a smart guy. he ought to be ashamed of himself. and that's "hardball" for now, thanks for being with us. "politics nations" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation" i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, when is a statement just an accidental


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